The former Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Livestock Procurement Officer, Clive Marshal has come under fire again from another witness before the BMC Parliamentary Select Committee.
The committee resumed its public hearings on Tuesday after travelling to the United Kingdom and Belgium to tour the BMC subsidiaries there. Kemoreng Kote, the owner of Fresh Taste, which provided feedlot services to the BMC, told the committee how Marshal did everything possible to frustrate her efforts to get a contract with BMC. She is convinced Marshal was on a mission to prove that a woman could not run a cattle-farming business. A few months back former president, Sir Ketumile Masire had also accused Marshal of being racist and blocking Batswana’s efforts to do lucrative business with the meat commission as he favoured white cattle farmers.
Kote is also the wife of the former Director of the Department of Roads, Kabo Kote. Fresh Taste Company deals with feed processing, feedlotting and cattle breeding. Kote, who defined herself as passionate about cattle farming, said she fought Marshal’s efforts to pull her down and refuted allegations that her company got a favour from top officials from the Office of the President to pressure the BMC to give her a feedlotting contract. “I was in a mission to see my company succeed and prove that a woman can run a cattle farming business without a man’s support,” she said. Kote said in 2008, her company learnt about the BMC’s feedlotting schemes and worked to get a contract to do the feedlotting for the meat commission.
BMC then approved her infrastructure for feedlotting and just when the contract was to be sealed, Marshal appeared in the picture and demanded to assess the infrastructure. The committee heard that Marshal, who appears to have been a very powerful and influential employee at BMC, earned a salary higher than that of his boss, the Chief Executive Officer. “Marshal said he was not satisfied with our kraals and all infrastructure despite that the BMC inspectors who came before him had approved our infrastructure. He even admitted that the requirements that he listed saying my company had not fulfilled were just made up from the top of his head and he bragged about it. He seemed to be a feared figure in the BMC and he sabotaged me because I am a woman and delayed the process of my company getting the contract,” Kote explained. Kote said Marshal had asked her how she made it in the business.
“He asked me how I did it because he himself had paid a lot to try this business but failed. That is when I realised that he was acting out with clear plan to sabotage the company.” She said it was only in August 2009 that Marshal released the signed feedlotting contract for the Fresh Taste and BMC.